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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Birth Story: Kim's Twins

A great story of a mom who has a natural vaginal birth for her twins after walking out on the OB that wanted to give her an automatic caesarean section.

My first pregnancy 9 years ago was a multiple pregnancy which automatically put me in the high risk category. I didn’t see anything high risk about it until I started looking for an OB. I live in Central Texas and at 22 years old, had little knowledge of birth or the stigma that has grown up around natural birthing. I just knew that I DID NOT  want to have surgery if I could avoid it. Imagine my shock when physician after physician told me that they would not even let me attempt a vaginal birth because I was carrying twins. I can’t remember how many times I heard the words “automatic section” while pregnant with my boys.

Finally, I found a new-to-town doctor who was more than willing to let me attempt a vaginal birth. His only request was that I have an epidural and birth in the operating room just in case a c-section became unavoidable. I decided that I could deal with the epidural. Dr. Brian Becker of Waco Center for Women’s Health was easy going and had no trouble talking me about any test or procedure.

I was diagnosed with Intracranial Hypertension during my pregnancy after months of severe headaches and finally a lumbar puncture to relieve the pressure on my brain. My neurologist prescribed Diamox to help with the spinal fluid pressure and as he handed me the script, he told me that he had never given this medication to a pregnant woman before because it had caused birth defects in animals during drug trials. I immediately burst into tears and told him that I would not take the medication. He was very gruff and said that if I did not take it, I could lose my vision. I remember leaving his office in a daze and as I walked through the medical complex, I ran into a staff member of Dr. Becker’s office. The office was closed, but she immediately took me inside to talk to Dr. Becker. He sat with me and calmed me down while he explained that Diamox was actually a Class C drug that was really no different than the pain medications that I had been taking to help with the headaches. Now, this was after hours and this doctor was sitting there holding my hand while I bawled like a child! I look back now and am just in awe.

I started having regular contractions on a Saturday night and went to the hospital. Unfortunately, Dr. Becker was not on call. The on call doctor kept me overnight and on Sunday morning told me that he was going to prep me for the O.R. I told him that my doctor had told me that my boys were both head down and that we had planned to at least attempt a vaginal birth. Now, I’ve come to see this doctor in my head as an evil little old doctor with large spectacles wringing his hands and telling me that he only delivered twins by c-section. If I’m honest with myself, I see an older gentleman with gray hair in a white coat. I told him that if that was the case, he would not be delivering my babies and I walked out. I had never done anything like that in my life and was instantly terrified. What if I had just killed my babies because I was afraid (and being completely honest now, I was terrified!) of having a surgery that millions of women have every year? I remember calling Dr. Becker’s office very early the next morning and being completely comforted by him and his staff. I had expected anger and shame! But they told me that I had done the right thing! And since my contractions were no longer regular, they would just see me on Thursday when I had already had an appointment scheduled.

I made my regularly scheduled 38 week check up that Thursday. My water broke at 4 a.m. Friday morning and labor started about 6 hours later. Dr. Becker met me at the hospital and told me that he was supposed to leave at noon that day but would stay with me as long as he could. I gave birth vaginally to twin A @ 1:45 that afternoon. Twin B followed a short 22 minutes later vaginally. I had to have one stitch and was able to hold my babies right after they were born. It was the most beautiful day ever! Both of my boys were extremely healthy and weighed in at 5 lbs 4 oz and 6 lbs 4 oz respectively. We got to go home Sunday morning.

Because of Dr. Becker, I knew that I could birth babies naturally. So when I got pregnant again 8 years later, I had a completely natural labor in a hospital with a doula in attendance.  Since the birth of my twins, he has become involved in the only practice in this area that has a CNM on staff. He is highly regarded by the homebirth midwife I met with and by my doula, both of whom recommended him for my most recent child. (I was unable to use him with my next pregnancy due to insurance restrictions.) But I will never forget the man who taught me that birth was a natural occurrence in a woman’s life. In my mind, he is extremely qualified and I would recommend him in a heartbeat to any new mom who needs a physician she can trust.